Already scoring impressive wins at the other three Majors, the 16-year-old Cori Gauff is off to a winning start in Paris. The youngest player in the Roland Garros draw made a perfect start of her campaign, toppling the last year’s semi-finalist and the 9th seed Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
Despite hitting 12 double faults, a teenager had the upper hand on the court, reducing the number of errors and drawing 40 from Konta, who couldn’t find her rhythm. The American saved five out of seven break chances, earning five breaks from 12 opportunities to seal the deal and advance into the second round.
Cori held after deuce in the first game and grabbed a break a few minutes later when Johanna sprayed a forehand error, opening a 2-0 advantage. Gauff erased a break point in game three with a service winner and held for a 3-0 lead after only 13 minutes.
Cori Gauff toppled Johanna Konta for first Roland Garros win.
Serving at 3-1, the youngster blasted two powerful serves to defend two break points, holding with another one to maintain the advantage. A backhand slice winner secured the seventh game for the American, who wrapped up the set after 53 minutes following an extended game nine and two break points saved.
Gauff netted a backhand in the second game of the second set to fall 2-0 behind, pulling it back in the next one to avoid chasing the result. A backhand winner pushed Cori 3-2 up, securing the sixth game following a backhand error from the Briton that sent her 4-2 ahead.
The youngster rattled off the fifth game in a row to move closer to the finish line, getting broken while serving for the match and stealing Konta’s serve once again at 5-3 to move over the top. “I don’t take anything for granted because I’m just happy to be playing.
I don’t think winning matches at Slams is something I’m used to, especially this is my first main draw at Roland Garros. When I’m on the court, I can act like I’m used to it. When I’m off the court, I’m just happy to be here.
I know that Konta likes to play hard and hit the ball into her. Coming into the match, I already knew I was going to change the pace and everything. I was surprised by how good the slice was today. I mean, I worked a lot on a backhand slice.
It’s not the best, but I try to work on it. The forehand slice, I think it was just natural. I knew I had to change up the pace of the ball, especially in the conditions,” Cori Gauff said.